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Cannot shake this guilt

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October 18th, 2011, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 14
Let me just start by saying I have not been the best granddaughter these past few years. I hold a lot of anger towards my Nana. I love her truly with all my heart, and we`ve never even had a falling out, but I`m angry and I can`t get past it.

It all started 4 years ago when my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. It scared my whole family as we all know the statistics for this type of cancer. At first I was so shocked that I pulled away a lot and didn`t know how to handle it. I was 20 years old, dating a d*******, and living away from home with my older sister and her fiance. In fact, aside from my aunt (moms sister) and my dad, everyone sort of pulled away at first.

Well I got my stuff together quickly. I dumped the guy, moved back home, got a great managing job at my dads store throughout the day and worked fulltime midnights aswell, got my licence and spent ALL my extra time with my mom- catching a few hours sleep at her side, taking her to her chemo and rad. sessions when my dad had to work, etc. My two sisters, myself and my dad have never been closer.

Well my moms health started to decline very quickly. During that time she had a birthday party thrown on her behalf and my entire family had this feeling it would be one of the last times we were ALL together. After that my aunt still continued to visit as often as she could but my Nana (her mom) never really made the effort to. It`s almost like she didn`t think it was all that serious or maybe she was in denial. I THINK she may have visited once in that year span in the beginning, and the only time I remember seeing her after that was at my moms birthday party.

One weekend in early December my Nana and Papa were supposed to come down and visit for the weekend as it was getting close to the Holidays and we werent too sure we would be travelling too far over Christmas. If I remember correctly my grandparents had been saying they were going to visit for many weekends now but something always came up.
So the day before they were supposed to arrive (they lived about 2 hrs away from us) we had heard on the weather report that there was supposed to be quite a bit of a snowfall that weekend (no really... we only lived up north..) so they decided (surprise surprise) not to come and we would make it another weekend.
My mom passed away that night.

I was so angry with my grandparents, but for some reason with my gramma in particular because they werent there for my mom as much as they could have been.
That Christmas my dad and sisters spent Christmas with my moms family at my aunts house and that was the last I saw of my gramma for a few years.

Fast forward a year. I had met someone special ( I stayed single for a whole year after my moms passing as I just could NOT be interested. When I met my now-fiance the connection was instant and not only was he the first one I dated after losing her but he is the one I am still with! We actually say it was her who brought us together.. ) and aside from talking to my Nana on the phone maybe once every few months, that was the only contact we had. Now this is where things became my fault aswell.

I watched this movie once called In Her Shoes where these two sisters meet and reconcile with their grandmother when they are adults. She was very close to them when they were young but when their mother passed she stopped being in contact with them. In her old age while talking to a friend she said `I promised their mom I would be there for them... and I wasnt`. It hit me like a ton of bricks. It was exactly how I was feeling. I know she was dealing with her own struggles for losing a daughter because whenever we DID talk on the phone she was extremely emotional and very hard to talk to. But I was mad. I felt like she could have, and SHOULD have been there more. For crying out loud us girls were age 22, 20 and 18.
She also was giving me grief every time we did talk because of all her grandchildren (there are quite a bit and they all adore her.. as do I!!) , her and I talked the least and it was somehow always put on my shoulders ``Candy, call your Nana..`` `` Candice, why dont you call me more, your sisters do...`` etc.
And the thing is, I DID and DO love talking to her. I really do. She reminds me of my mother SO much with her spunky personality and her voice that everytime we do end the convo I tear up because I always feel closer to my mom after that. But I was just so mad still and couldnt get over it.

Until... another year or so later my fiance and I decided to try and start a family. I still wasnt talking too much to my Nan, but I was getting over things and putting them past me as I was coming to terms with and healing a lot of pain from my moms loss. Well shortly after ttc, we DID! I got a lot of joy from family and my sis started planning my baby shower right away.

FF to August of 2010 I was excited the shower day had come. My aunt and neice were coming, a lot of friends and some relatives, and my Nana was coming!! I was actually really excited to see her- as I mentioned already- I love her so much. I really do. The day of, I was fashionably late to my own party (my SO decided to paint the world on my tummy and we were waiting for it to dry). Well lo and behold, when I finally do get there EVERYONE is there already- except of course my nan- who decided very last minute she wasnt feeling good and couldnt make it. Of course I was extremely upset but knew I would be seeing her a month or so later- at my sisters wedding- which she DID make it to btw..._ and I would have my baby by then so she could meet him or her. (It was a HIM! )

Seeing her was great and of course she apologized profusely saying she hadnt been feeling good and I forgave her and got to spend a little time with her.
Now FF another 8 months. To her 80th bday. My aunt was throwing her a surprise bday party and because my fiance and I were having some financial issues after he lost a great job, I didnt think I would be able to make the drive to the party ( it was 2 hrs away plus we drive a large 4x4 gas guzzling Dodge truck- and would NOT want to make the late night drive home alone with my baby as hubby was away that weeknd). We hadnt been able to visit too many people lately actually (which answers the questions some of you may be asking as to why we never just went and visited my nan- who by the way spends her entire summer at her cottage which is 4 hrs from my house) , but my sisters and I planned a carpool and split on the hotel room because frankly we would NEVER miss her 80th bday!!
Please keep in mind she is a spark plug and firecracker for 80.. not one of them fragile little old ladies) Seeing her was great and I even gave her this beautiful photo album I made of me and my SO pics and all of the past 8 months she had missed of my son. Yes, her GREAT grandson who she also didnt seem to have the time or energy to see other than when he was a week old at my sisters wedding. Turns out I found out I was pg again THAT weekend. . yay me. lol

Well we are going to FF yet again to my sons 1st birthday- which was this past Sept. I planned just a little get together with some family and a few friends for his party. I was using it mostly as an excuse to get my moms family together since we dont ever anymore. Once again, the day before I find out my nan has to cancel because she has a cold. So right as I`m getting over the anger, this happens and for some reason I do NOT get over this as easily as missing my baby shower (which by the way my boyfriend proposed to me at- in front of all the family that WAS there- and even did it with my moms engagement ring. My dad loved him and had given it to him when he asked for his permission..and she missed all that). So that was in early September of this year, and even after she tried calling me a few times I have not aswered the phone or called her back yet. And Im now due in 3 months and she hasnt even talked to me about that yet either.

Well I got a message from my uncle today saying my Nana had a heart attack late last night and is in the hospital... she is doing just okay and her vitals look okay, but she IS 80 and her health has been slowly declining so there really is no telling how she will handle everything. I have been crying all day. Not only do I feel EXTREMELY guilty now for not calling her, I also feel like Im doing EXACTLY what she did in regards to my mom- EXACTLY what I`ve been mad at her for all these years. I`ve refused to talk to her and now it may be too late and I cant get over how horrible I feel. Not to mention the idea of losing the closest tie to my own mom opens those wounds all over again too...

Im lost

Thank you if you made it this far... I just needed to be ale to say EVERYTHING just HOPING it would make me feel better.. It doesnt. I feel worse admitting my behaviour..
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October 27th, 2011, 08:57 PM
in_mommy's Avatar I am just me
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 14,873
((HUGS)) I am sorry your having such a hard time with this. If I had to take a guess, mind you not knowing your family and such, maybe she was having a hard time with visiting your mom more because she was really upset to see her daughter basically dying before her eyes. Yes she should have put her feelings aside and helped out more, but maybe the grief was just too much for her. As for the baby shower, maybe you remind her of your mom and she just wasn't ready to face that yet or she could have really been genuinely sick, but since there seems to be a bit of a pattern in that, I doubt it.
Go visit her. Tell her you love her and miss her. Have a talk with her and tell her how you feel, gently of course, and just ask her to be honest with you as to why she would cancel. You don't want to have those questions and thoughts constantly running through your mind and you know she is probably troubled by it too. So ease both your minds and talk about it.
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December 7th, 2011, 09:31 AM
Prudence's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 653
Sorry, I cannot tell you how to feel. There will always be regret in life, unfortunately.
My question is and not only to you, but to everyone who feels. Why is it you cannot get upset with someones elses behaivor over the fact of feeling guilty when times like these arise?
I am an extreme believer you are entitled to your feelings even when you are wrong. You were hurt and suffering, your Nana was as well. I would have been hurt too, as an outsider you must be the one who reminds her the most of your Mother, and it is too bad neither of you got to embrace that.
All you can do now is tell her you loved her, wish that your time with each other was much more. Tell her you understand the time you did not share. And importantly do not feel guilty for your feelings.
I never really called or visited my grandmother when I was old enough, not to meantion if I did call she would make me get off the phone because it was costing me lol. I wrote her many letters and she lived 35 minutes away lol.
When she broke her hip and went to the hospital which was an hour away, I tried very hard to see her every weekend. I could have been a better granddaughter we had our differences, but I took the time I had good and bad and cherished it.
Hope you feel better.
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